Due to recent comments by President Obama, the hot topic on conservative talk shows this week is whether or not we are still a Christian nation. I believe that we’re clearly no longer a Christian nation. According to the 2008 version of “The Statistical Abstract of the United States,” 74% of Americans claim to be Christians (51% Protestant and 24% Catholic). However, based upon my definition of a Christian, very few of these are really Christians; i.e., born again believers who believe that we are saved by grace alone, through faith (Ephesians 2:8-10), without regard to our works of any kind. Unfortunately, this eliminates most of those who profess to be Christians.
Apparently this is true even among evangelicals–that subset of professing Christians who are most outspoken about evangelizing by sharing and spreading their faith. See the “Salvation Is Free” post below, where Bob Wilkin concludes that most Evangelicals believe that saving faith includes other things (works). If evangelicals don’t understand how one becomes a Christian, then my guess is that only a very small percentage of Americans are true Christians.
However, if evangelicals have failed to evangelize, and most Americans are not Christians, does this release us evangelicals from our commitment to God’s commandments? Of course not. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)